The last true day of summer
The following is a work of fiction. All coincidences to actual people and events are purely coincidental. ;)
Every once in a great while we are granted the sorts of days when everything flows smoothly and coolly. These are the days when you wish you could continue as that persona forever, so cool have you become, if only for a day. I just had one of those days, and I know its likes cannot come again. I am a dork. This kind of thing never happens to me.
This is the sunset of my post-high-school summer. My friends are all about to leave for school in various locales. I, unlike most of them, will be attending a nearby college, namely Macalester College. For the next 4 days I'm working, so today was the key window in which to blow things out.
I knew I needed to distribute lots of warez to people today. It is really quite telling, the people who didn't bother to show to your graduation party, they come calling when they need software a few days before they leave. And so it was. My warez price structure, recently developed, is quite straightforward: the more I loathe a person, the more I charge. One girl, who drives a goddamn Mercedes with a vanity "FILMAKR" plate, I charged her $100 for OS X and some fat digital video progs. She was rich and pretentious, so the Hong had to equalize.
Now my first mark today is a very decent guy. He's skipping college for a year to intern with a teen outreach program. He got MS Office 98 gratis. Good guy. I hopped on my bike and picked up the Subaru. I went over to the shoplifter's house, where he needed a PCMCIA Ethernet card installed. Considering I was dealing with Microsmish Y2K, it went smoothly. So we took off and I call up MegaStoner. I was providing him with a small array of miscellaneous software.
I stopped at a gas station along Minnesota 36, a Phillips 66. I topped off the tank at an optimal price of $1.459. Later that day, astonishingly, I found the usually cheap (and automated) Gas for Less for 15 cents more! So that was good. And that gas was topped off well above the F mark.
After treating Shoplifter to some superb pizza at Cossetta, we went to MegaStoner's house in the second poshest section of St. Paul. (besides Summit Ave.). Well, we arrived, and without a word about it, MS directed us to a screened-in porch on the second floor and he packed a bowl. All enjoyed it. We talked of how damn oddly pimp I was, cruising around distributing warez. "Yo I got dis shit hot off Carracho, man. Fuckin' hot!" was his impression.
So we copied him some warez, and I left with him some more for someone else, also gratis. He smoked a brother up, what can I say? Oh yes, I also brought him a perfectly valid baseball card with his name on it. He got a kick out of that. We finished up Shoplifter's eighth which he needed to finish before he went to school on the 18th. Which was nice.
We wandered a little in his neighborhood. The house next door, which used to be a prep school called Visitation back in the '20s, is four stories tall. It has a crew of 5 gardeners come 5 days a week. It has a reflecting pool and security cameras. After the school moved out, some eccentric zillionaires built another floor on the house, and you can see both downtown St. Paul and the IDS Tower in Minneapolis. And to top it off, they have an 80-ton rock from Scandinavia. And a line of custom-made little pillars which appear to be simple little wall pillars. But if you look at their contours, they are all faces! Faces! Which can mess with you when you're high. The intended illusion of faces in the neighbor's brick wall. Shoplifter and I headed out, and I collected a piece of foam which looked like Pac-Man. Sweet.
I contacted my next mark. This kid raises the art of raver poser to a new level. Now he's going to some Philadelphia school for web design. Damn! I have seen his work and it frankly blows. You can't learn aesthetics... He wanted BBEdit and Photoshop, for him, a round $20. But he was damn late. Shoplifter and I wandered around the corner of Snelling and Grand, seeing if he was around a corner. No results, through our thick THC haze, but all was not in vain!
Someone shouted "HongPong! HongPong!" (or my real name :) from a car. A female someone. That's almost always good, yes? The shouter was my former classmate and fellow Macalester first-year Melanie. She was out at an art gallery in Boston all summer, and I hadn't seen her in months. So she hops out of the car and gives me a hug, and Shoplifter a hug too, and we talk a little bit on the corner. But no sooner have we started talking than more women start showing up! Que Guay!
And to think I used to be such a dork. I no more have to wander around stoned near a warez deal and the chicks are all over! I could not have imagined that I would be such a cool dude even for a day.
So Second Chick parked at a most unfortunate angle sticking out into the road, but couldn't fit the car better because of the torrent of traffic on Snelling right behind her. We all laughed lots and lots, which I think eventually drove her away. But Shoplifter, Melanie and I retired to the coffee shop until Poser got there. We caught up on happenings, and Poser came and got his software. Things dissolved, but it was good times.
Shoplifter's long and illustrious career in the Twin Cities
(A large but worthy tangent) My shoplifter friend loves knocking over Best Buy
s, especially. He really does. He's stolen about 150 CDs from 4 different Best Buys. And now that he is finally leaving the region for college, he decided he needed to give Best Buy a farewell letter. In it, he lambasted their lazy security
staff, their high price
s, and described his well-refined
and successful methodology
for ripping off CDs. Including the complete listing of every CD he stole, the document ran 3 pages. He had a young lackey
tape the documetn to the inside of the men's bathroom door. You have to admire his chutzpah
, no doubt. In my mind, this redeems him, as far as an utterly amoral
, devious thief can be redeemed. He is such a pop culture junkie
, but he subverts the aim of the multinational corporations by not spending any money. He manages to have his cake and eat it too. He and I have also developed a myriad
of ways to rip off movie theaters. Quite a myriad.(end tangent)
We collected my GF and went to go see an independent movie. First, we stopped at a convenience store to purchase cheaper drinks. Or for Shoplifter, not purchase them. He snuck them into the movie, and we saw The Deep End, in Uptown Minneapolis. It was not a great movie, but oh well. I got back to the GF's house and basically got some lovin'. Which is good. And then I split to hang out with Shoplifter again. I ate the last delicious late-night frozen cheese pizza and Coke I'll have there for a long time. And I watched him play trippy video games. When a rather dorky fellow, TheTrekkie, came by, I launched into a vicious and insightful dissection of anime. (which is basically overwrought arcade games, node forthcoming) He was a good sport about it.
I headed out to my trusty Subaru, whose gas gauge still floated above the "F" mark. On the way home, I saw hated railroad crossing flashers blinking ahead of me. I saw no train for a moment. Then off to the left, there it was. I could beat it easily in the Subaru, and there weren't any gates. The impulse to floor it was tempting...
But I didn't. The day had passed. It was 2 AM. It was time for me to regress into total meek dork. On the way through my downtown, I experienced the esoteric Thursday-evening desertion of flashing yellow everything.
And that's how it was. Damn it felt good to be a gangsta. I need to go defragment my hard drive now.